SEVEN EIGHT SURPRISING DOWNSIDES OF BEING EXTREMELY INTELLIGENT.
Via Instapundit’s Ed Driscoll:
SEVEN SURPRISING DOWNSIDES OF BEING EXTREMELY INTELLIGENT.
The last one on the list isn’t a “downside” at all. So it’s Six, really, to which we might add two very critical downsides missed:
7) Extremely intelligent people very rarely mature psychologically or socially. The ability to perform mental gymnastics and to achieve extraordinary success typically leads to a brutal, adolescent condescension towards “lesser” creatures. Life becomes a permanent state of suspended adolescence. Maturity first requires the inner strength to recognize and admit failure, and then it requires self-correction. It’s a stimulus-response system of human growth. Alas, very intelligent and successful people most often deny themselves that necessary stimulus for growth. (Count for yourself the number of people you’ve met who are brilliant and truly humble.)
This leads to …
8) The Flipside of the Dunning–Kruger Effect: Intelligent people typically fail to recognize the limits of their abilities. One often finds these people assuming omnipotence much removed from their core metier. Arrogance. This is an extension of [Seven], above, though it takes on a life of it’s own. Sure, the Dunning–Kruger effect is real, but it’s rare enough that brilliant individuals are forced to spend the time and effort to come to grips with their weaknesses.
Sometimes this stimulus occurs in the scientific – where doubts about the veracity of one’s findings and analysis are necessary strengths. Too, one sometimes finds it amongst the truly religious where, again, doubt and truth are daily struggles. Outside of these disciplines, chaos reigns. (Count for yourself the number of people you’ve met who are brilliant and truly wise.)
. . .
In your humble scribe’s experience it has been found that humility, wisdom and intelligence hardly ever coexist in the one man. They seem rather at odds.